Schools across the country hosted a Fairtrade Fortnight activity to raise money and awareness in March earlier this year. Primary and secondary schools could then enter this for the Margaret Demidecka Award 2014! The Margaret Demidecka Fairtrade Award was started in 2006 by the Tring Justice and Peace Group and is a competition to judge the best Fairtrade activity in a school and to choose the best school with a Fairtrade awareness and enthusiasum. The winning primary and winning secondary school would each win £350 to use to strengthen Fairtrade activities in their school, and to put on events in their community. Entries were judged on the following criteria: Impact, Imagination, Educational content and Relevance to the theme (“cheap bananas threaten farmers’ futures”; see the Stick with Foncho campaign: foncho.fairtrade.org.uk). This year, Imberhorne School have won the secondary school category!
Faith Holland, Campaigns Co-ordinator at Fairtrade Foundation, said: "We'd like to congratulate Imberhorne School on winning the Margaret Demidecka Fairtrade Award, and thank all students and teachers for showing their dedication to the Fairtrade movement.
"The Fairtrade Schools Award is not only about teaching students about trade across the globe, the award aims to show them that they can change the world around them, and make a real difference to the most marginalised farmers and workers in developing countries.
"Since the launch of the FAIRTRADE mark in 1994, more than 1.4 million farmers and workers have secured a better deal for their work, and improved the livelihood for their families. With the support from schools like Imberhorne School, we will help bring Fairtrade to more of the people who need it most."
Schools have been a big part of the Fairtrade movement.
The Fairtrade schools scheme, implemented in 2007, is a national initiative by the Fairtrade Foundation to engage young people in development issues and help tackle poverty faced by millions of farmers and producers in developing countries. There are currently more than 1300 Fairtrade Schools in the UK.
Schools can learn how to become a Fairtrade School by visiting schools.fairtrade.org.uk.
On Monday 29th September 2014, Faith Holland and her team visited Imberhorne to present the award and run a workshop with some KS3 students. She firstly visited Upper School to give an assembly to the Year 12’s and present the trophy and £350 cheque prize to the Imberhorne Fairtrade Steering Group.
Part of her assembly to the year group was about why Imberhorne had won the Margaret Demidecka Fairtrade Award. She also included a bit about their latest campaign, “The Great British Fairness Debate”, which launched that day and she showed a video launching the new campaign, which is part of the celebrations of the 20 year anniversary of Fairtrade. It is all part of the idea of "are you as fair as you think you are?" - take the Fairtrade Foundation's test here! You can see the film below:
She was then taken to Lower, where, with the help of her colleagues and film crew, and Henry Grub, Jonathan Wheadon, Henry McCahon and Lauren Armstrong of the Steering Group, they transformed a class room into a Fairtrade studio. Faith brought bunting and inflatable bananas and cardboard cut-outs of Fairtrade products and together with the poster turned the room into a Fairtrade film set!
They then invited selected students from years 8 & 9 to take part in a Fairtrade workshop, run by Faith. It challenged them to think about what Fairtrade does and what it means to them, and for the rest of the world. This was filmed, and the camera crew asked them to answer the question “what does Fairtrade mean to you?”. The video was used for the Fairtrade’s 20th Birthday celebration in London! See it below:
Faith Holland said after the day:
“Thank you so much for a brilliant morning yesterday! I really enjoyed speaking in assembly and it was great to meet you both, the members Imberhorne’s Fairtrade Committee and the KS3 students. From speaking to the committee, it’s clear that you are an extremely committed and effective group and it’s really impressive to know that you have been working together since year 7.”
And Imberhorne Fairtrade Steering Group Chairman, Henry Grub, said:
“Naturally it’s fantastic to have the biggest fair trading organisation in the world recognise the work we’ve done. We didn’t do this to win the award: I only heard about it after we had celebrated Fairtrade Fortnight; so it makes winning all the more better because I know that we have won on our pure enthusiasm and imagination alone. Hopefully, on day in the future, Fairtrade will become more than just a charity or a movement; it will become a notion, a whole ideal of life in itself, part of everyday life. A day when the only products are Fairtrade products: we know no injustice and everyone is equal on a trade footing. We have immense support for the Steering Group in our school, which is to be expected, considering how much we do for the school. Our next step will be furthering the integration of Fairtrade into more of school life."